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Old 04-01-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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Default Very very very old pistol

Hello,

Recently we've dug this pistol in a Taino Indians site, Dominican Republic.
Could anyone identify the pistol and share some information about it.

Thank you!









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Old 04-01-2011, 12:33 PM   #2
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Well, can only comment on the obvious- it is a single shot, percussion lock, muzzle loading pistol, with a grip shape commonly called "bird's head", and a spur type, unguarded trigger. Usually carried as a pocket pistol, most commonly around .31 caliber- basically a belly gun. Percussion caps came into use in the 1820s-1830s, and were pretty well replaced by cartridge arms by the 1880s- but guns are durable, and may have remained in use long after newer guns were on the market. Possible suspects include every cottage gun maker in Belgium and Italy.

IF the bore is open, use a NON SPARKING rod to check to see if it is still loaded. If bore is blocked by rust and crud, it MAY be possible to XRay it- the lead ball will be denser than the steel barrel, and show up.

I mention this because BLACK POWDER, even when soaked in sea water for over 100 years, WHEN DRIED OUT is still capable of firing- say due to heat or sparks generated as you try to clean that up. From the condition, having that fire would be very bad ju-ju.

In earlier years would have looked SOMETHING like this- not the same, but similar- Guns For Sale : Antiques - Old Belgian Single Shot Percussion Pistol 31 cal - Auction: 7644577 (Ended 10/08/2006, 03:06:14 PST)

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Old 04-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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It's a "muff" or "pocket" pistol. Eighteenth century. Centerline lock,
percussion ignition. Usually the barrel unscrewed for loading. What are
your plans for it?

eta DAMMIT--I've got to type faster! C3's reply is right on ther money
and he beat me by a minute!

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Old 04-01-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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Thank you both,

But can you say when this kind of pistol were begun to produce?
I am not sure that it came from 18th century.

That's why:
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles.
Columbus with his crew arrived in 1492 in Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic). And in thirty years, between 80% and 90% of the population of Taino died.

We found a Taino site and dug some pieces of Taino Art and the pistol there. Also we found a grave with two Taino's skeleton sitting in embryo pose.
The spaniards might visit that place only when Taino lived there and I suppose there was a battle between them. So i think this pistol were used in 1490 - 1550.

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Old 04-01-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillM View Post
It's a "muff" or "pocket" pistol. Eighteenth century. Centerline lock,
percussion ignition. Usually the barrel unscrewed for loading. What are
your plans for it?

eta DAMMIT--I've got to type faster! C3's reply is right on ther money
and he beat me by a minute!
I am going to sell it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #6
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Sorry- but unless you find the remains of a time machine on the dig, THAT pistol could not date from the 15th-16th century.

The Flintlock came into existence in the 1600s. The percussion cap in the 1800s. Yours does not appear to be a flintlock (altho due to the state of preservation, not possible to say that with 100.00000% certainty) but a percussion cap lock. The muff or pocket pistol style also came much later- basically, 1800s.

You might not have been the first to dig there. Sort of like "Hey! The Incas drank BEER! See? I found a Budweiser can!"

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Old 04-01-2011, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Sorry- but unless you find the remains of a time machine on the dig, THAT pistol could not date from the 15th-16th century.

The Flintlock came into existence in the 1600s. The percussion cap in the 1800s. Yours does not appear to be a flintlock (altho due to the state of preservation, not possible to say that with 100.00000% certainty) but a percussion cap lock. The muff or pocket pistol style also came much later- basically, 1800s.

You might not have been the first to dig there. Sort of like "Hey! The Incas drank BEER! See? I found a Budweiser can!"
what c3 says, 15th or 16th century than it should be a big wheellock gun,nice dug up relic this gun
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unamigo View Post
I am going to sell it.
So---What's the current market value on several ounces of rust and
muck? Did you get pics of it in situ and any documentation?

I agree it's a maximum of maybe 180 yrs old. Could be much less than
that. Heck--pistols of this type were and are sold as kits within the last
50 yrs.

You said there was indian art in the graves? My guess--it fell out of a
grave robbers pocket at some point.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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Thank you very much for your comments!
It became more clear what we'd dug up.

Best wishes to all of you.

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Old 04-02-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unamigo View Post
I am going to sell it.
So whacha gonna do with your five bucks? Pretty much what they said and what I said on the other forum you posted it on. The match lock was used in the 1400's then the wheel lock in the mid 1500's then the snaphaunce into the 1600's. It was none of those. At best a center hammer flintlock boot pistol but most likely percussion. It could have been used as a muff pistol but I doubt many ladies were on a grave robbing detail or archaeological dig. Muff pistols were used in the mid 1700's through the mid 1800's.
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